Like any good story, the story of your pain has a beginning, a middle and if all goes well, a successful ending. But what if you don’t know your starting point?
I’m not talking about when you started to hurt. That’s the easy part. I’m talking about when you realized that in order to have a successful ending, you needed an honest understanding of why you were in pain and what you had to do to get out of it.
If you are struggling to understand your pain and can’t find your way to a successful ending, it may be time to reassess where you're at. This is the story of how I discovered a new starting point. Armed with a clear understanding of what was happening in my body, I was able to move forward on a consistent and progressive journey to a (mostly) pain-free life. I believe you can do the same.
This post is for you if who want to reset your starting point and are willing to rewrite your story so that you too, can have a better ending.
I can pinpoint the exact day I started to hurt. My false beginning. I had moved to Fort McMurray a few months earlier. Like most people, I was working long days onsite. After waking from a much-needed nap on the bus ride home I had this intense pain in my lower back and right hip. I had heard a lot about back pain, but this was the first time I had felt it. I wasn’t a fan.
The pain persisted. Being a strong believer in all things holistic, I started with my first ever acupuncture and chiropractic sessions. Acupuncture didn’t provide any noticeable relief in the beginning – but chiropractic was like magic! I remember feeling relief for the first time in weeks and I was beyond thankful. Each time my back would act up, seemingly out of nowhere, I would find myself back on the table in search of that awe-inspiring release and mobility!
This went on for about 8 years.
Then, in 2018 I reached out to Deanna Hansen, the founder of Block Therapy™ for guidance with my first ever, relentless toothache. I had started the practice a few years earlier, but had been inconsistent and sporadic at best. I would use my Block Buddy on my belly and neck to relieve the bloating and tension I struggled with, not realizing the twisted state my entire body was in.
Deanna asked for some photos and set me up with some classes that would not only help my tooth, but would unexpectedly help transform my entire body.
This was my true starting point.
As you can see in the photos, my body was not exactly straight. Without getting into detail, I was hyperextended at the knees, rotating to the right as I tipped forward. My right side had “collapsed” as seen in my core, right leg, arm, shoulder and head.
Plus - my spine had some serious curvature. I never had a diagnosis, but that looks like scoliosis!
And right there, for the first time I saw and understood why I struggled with low back and right hip pain for almost 10 years.
Truth be told, the issue started long before then and was enhanced when I had my appendix removed in 1995. The scar tissue and adhesions from this surgery really did a number on my insides.
Here I was – this whole time living by the principles taught to me in holistic & Body-Mind nutrition, plus the hundreds of hours of self study over the past 15 years and I almost missed the boat!
Once I had an accurate picture of what was actually happening, and with the guidance of others who had already walked this road, I was able to take simple, progressive steps all the way to lasting relief.
If you are looking for a new path forward here are 3 things to help you on your way:
1. Know your starting point.
How can you know where you're going – if you don’t know where you are?!
Just like on a hike, it’s much easier to get lost when you set out from an unknown location. Take an honest look at your situation and if it isn’t working; pause, gather some more information and get your bearings!
What can this look like?
· Speak with friends or family who have successfully navigated their own path – there may be options you are unaware of.
· Talk to the professionals. If you haven’t sought the help of chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists and others – maybe now is the time to enlist their expertise.
· Try new things. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best. If you know you lead a sedentary life, aim to go for regular walks. If you’ve been curious about yoga, or floatation tanks or acupuncture or any offering that’s piqued your interest, what have you got to lose?
Listen to your body and choose something gentle in the beginning.
2. Focus on foundations first.
Regardless of your path, you will find greater success when you lay a solid foundation.
If your world and body are in chaos – bring calm and clarity first - starting with your breath. It's free, always available and more powerful than you may imagine. Will it completely rid you of your pain? Possibly not – but it will enhance everything else you do, allowing you to reach your destination quicker and more efficiently.
Next, look at your posture and be honest with yourself! Posture plays a fundamental role in your pain story. The worse your posture and the longer you wait to improve it, the longer your journey will be. Improve your posture to improve your pain.
3. Set modest goals, monitor your progress and celebrate success.
This keeps you motivated and moving forward. Again, know your starting point and the signs of success that you will track. This leads to a very important bonus tip:
Seek the support of others.
This doesn’t only include the experts and practitioners who “work on you”. Find a support partner, team or even a community of people who are at different stages of their journey. You may be surprised at how many people have been where you are.
Walking this path is hard enough, doing it alone is almost impossible. Connect with community and draw on their wisdom, guidance and compassion.
If you want to get started but don’t have a supportive community to connect with, visit the Block Therapy Community on Facebook. There are over five and a half thousand people navigating their own path and helping others, like you, do the same.
You only get one story, you may as well make it a good one!
Believing you well,